Confessed therapy dog killer exits jail following first court appearance

DAVIE, Fla. – After police said he confessed to killing a therapy dog that belonged to U.S. Army Master Sgt. Daniel Perez, a 21-year-old man appeared in Broward County court on Wednesday.

Perez, a reservist and an employee of Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, has served in the Army for 27 years. Seven years ago, after returning from a deployment, he was struggling and decided to adopt a dog during a veterans’ pet adoption event. He named the dog Matilda.

“Every time I was down or depressed she would put her paws, like forcing me to pet her, and by doing that I never thought about it,” Perez said.

Officers with the Davie and the Seminole Tribe police departments tracked and arrested Chayse Billie, of Hollywood, on Tuesday evening for fatally shooting the beloved dog early Friday morning in Davie.

“He is alleged to going into a closed veterinary clinic, armed with a firearm and shooting a service animal, a service dog, multiple times,” Assistant State Attorney Eric Linder said in court.

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Billie left jail Wednesday night and gave quick, sarcastic responses to questions from Local 10 News’ Terrell Forney.

“Do you not like animals?” Forney asked Billie.

“I love animals,” Billie answered.

“Where did you get the gun from?” Forney asked.

“I got it from you,” Billie replied.

21-year-old Chayse Billie exits jail. (WPLG)

The last time Perez saw Matilda was while dropping her off at an animal clinic. His friend at the clinic allowed him to place her in a locked kennel at about 6 a.m. The staff at the clinic was going to bring her inside at about 7 a.m. Instead, they found her dead.

Javier Barrero, the veterinarian at the clinic, said Matilde got “VIP treatment.” He pointed to an X-ray of her body and said there were bullet fragments in her neck, abdomen, and back.

“She was part of the staff, of the family,” Barrero said.

“Very lovely dog, a family dog, she loved my kids. My youngest son was very affected. He used to play with her and sleep with her. Not aggressive at all. She loved kids, and loved other animals. It’s not fair,” Perez said.

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Billie told detectives that he was the gunman on the surveillance video, according to the arrest report.

“He took pictures, video, started teasing the dog by kicking the fence, then shot her three times,” Perez said adding, “I might understand if she just jumped the fence and attacked somebody, maybe jumped the fence and crossed the street and somebody hit her with the car. I understand that, but not this. She could not defend herself.”

Officers arrested Chayse Billie, 21, of Hollywood, on Tuesday evening for fatally shooting a dog early Friday morning in Davie.

According to the arrest report, Billie picked up the shell casings and left the dog to die alone. Billie also left behind his specialized Fatboy bicycle near the clinic, police said.

“If he is willing to do that, I would be concerned. I have safety concerns,” Linder said in court.

Billie is facing a charge of aggravated animal cruelty. His bond was set at $25,000 and the judge ordered him to stay away from the place of the crime, animals, and firearms.

He didn’t give an explanation for his alleged crime to Local 10 News after leaving jail Wednesday night, instead offering a rather insensitive message to Perez.

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“Yeah, sorry, and I’ll get you a new dog if you want, but I’m pretty sure you don’t want to see me right now,” Billie said.

Read the arrest form’s narrative

Chayse Billie (DPD)

Local10.com archives

April 6, 4 p.m. report

After police said he confessed to killing a therapy dog that belonged to U.S. Army Master Sgt. Daniel Perez, a 21-year-old man appeared in Broward County court on Wednesday.

April 6, 12 p.m. report

A 21-year-old man confessed to killing a therapy dog in Davie that belonged to U.S. Army Master Sgt. Daniel Perez.

April 5, 11 p.m. report

A Broward County dog owner is absolutely devastated after the shocking and cruel death of his pet.

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